You may have heard of people who “came back” from being declared dead, or close to it, that report incredible things that they experienced while near death. Join us as Scott discusses the phenomena of near death experiences with world renowned expert on the subject, Christian philosopher, Dr. Gary Habermas.
More About Our Guest
Dr. Gary Habermas is Distinguished Research Professor of Apologetics and Philosophy at the Rawlings School of Divinity, Liberty University. He is an expert on both the resurrection of Jesus and the phenomena of near death experiences. He is the author of more than 150 articles and book chapters on various aspects of apologetics and philosophy. He has also authored several books, including Beyond Death: Exploring the Evidence for Immortality.
Scott Rae: Welcome to the podcast Think Biblically: Conversations on Faith and Culture. I'm your host, Scott Rae, dean of faculty and professor of Christian ethics, Talbot School of Theology at Biola University. We're here at the Evangelical Theological Society Meetings, which is a great conglomeration of all these world-class, Biblical, theological and philosophical scholars. And I get the chance to cherry-pick among my favorites who I want to interview. So we are here to day with one of my favorite folks, Dr. Gary Habermas, who has a long history with Talbot's philosophy program. I think we'll ... The way we'll put it is you mentored our colleague, J. P. Moreland, for many years.
Gary Habermas: Think so?
Scott Rae: Although he might say ... He might dispute that.
Gary Habermas: He may come around. When I first met him, he hadn't finished his PhD yet so he was-
Scott Rae: Your junior college.
Gary Habermas: He was because he came to Liberty for a little while.
Scott Rae: That's right. Gary is a prolific author. He has spoken all over the world on topics related to apologetics and philosophy, but he's a specialist known worldwide for two primary areas. That on the resurrection of Jesus and on the phenomena of near death experiences. So Gary, I'd like to start with that. First of all, welcome and thanks for joining us.
Gary Habermas: Thanks, Scott. Glad to be here with you.
Scott Rae: So tell what is exactly meant by the term a near death experience?
Gary Habermas: Well, actually, near death has different definitions, but it's usually said it's a state from which you could reasonably be thought to die, if there's not immediate intervention. But because definitions of death come in different flavors ... CPR says we don't feel the heart beat yet but no machines. And, of course, there could be more advanced things, EKG, no EEG.
And then kind of my favorite is the one that the naturalists ... It's just many methodological naturalists use, if you came back, you weren't. So because of the other ... That definition is it's irreversible death. So near death would be somewhere in between. And sometimes the little state might be you could have measurable, no measurable heart or upper brain activity. Those cases are quite common.
And for that many minutes ... Let's say 30 minutes, you could be reporting data that would be highly evidential. But then when they resuscitate you, you're good to go and you don't remember it. You think it was a wonderful experience, and you're not afraid to die. So for those 20, 30 minutes, you could have been ... It's more than near death. I mean some people call those the post-death portion, but you can return from these post-death portions.
Scott Rae: Okay. So what's the significance for theologically and philosophically, of these near death experiences?
Gary Habermas: Well, the significance to me is ... Again, we're looking for scientific verification of a in this case, religious truth and about ... It's getting on to about 30 years now, science found out that if you have a cardiac arrest ... There's different kinds of cardiac arrests ... But if you had a cardiac arrest, ventricular fibulation, you will be brain dead in about 15 seconds. Now the old days, when NDEs first started ... I was hanging around with some of the guys at Pioneer Researchers. I remember being at a meeting in Connecticut. We were saying "Man, the ideal evidential case would be somebody who's measurably flat brain, flat heart and they have data."
Well, now, it's easy to tell. You don't have to have people hooked up to machines. Just have, as rough as it sounds, just have a cardiac arrest with ventricular fibulation and the rest takes care of itself. You will be measurably dead in less than a minute. And if you can report data during that time ... If you were in that state for 30 minutes, its very highly evidential state from which you could report data that you couldn't possibly have seen. Even if you were staring right at it, you would never be able to tell what it is. But if it happens down the hallway or three floors away or back in your home, that's just more all of evidential.
Scott Rae: So tell our listeners about some of the most unusual ... What are some of the best cases of these near death experiences that you're familiar with?
Gary Habermas: Oh, they're incredible. I mean they're like the twilight zone. There's 300, at least 300 evidential cases now on record. People think this is twilight zone type stuff and it's not terribly scientific. Well, the leading researcher who just retired from the University of Virginia was an MD, psychiatrist and extinguished professor of brain sciences so it's a pretty high level thing. He himself published 100 peer reviewed articles on NDEs in medical and psych journals. So it's a lot of things going on that people don't know.
Scott Rae: So let me just ... Dr. Habermas is using the tern NDE as a short for near death experience.
Gary Habermas: Near death experience or an NDEer would be an experiencer. That's right. One of the latest books came out from the University of Missouri Press by a bunch of medical doctors and other researchers. And they estimate that in North America, the UK and Europe alone, up to 30 million people have claimed to have had near death experiences. So we're not talking so much about the old objection "Yeah you got a lot of evidence for the Resurrection, but you want me to believe in the Land of Oz. You want me to go with you to middle earth." Well, up to 30 million people claimed they've been there.
So this is not the wild world we think. So what we're most interested in when they claim to hae those journeys is when they produce evidence. I've divided the evidence into three categories and skeptics strangely enough like ... Some skeptics like one kind and other skeptics like another kind. One would be data from inside the room. That would be of all the appearance to be in a first person. You had to be an eye witness to your own cardiac arrest.
Next, I think is more evidential and it's NDE data at a distance. So if something happens to you in L.A. and your family lives 20 miles away and you look in and see what your wife is making for dinner and she hasn't made this dish for three years. So the chances of you ... She doesn't make it every Tuesday night. And you report ... They get you stabilized and you find out what she was making for dinner, that's pretty interesting because it's miles away.
The third one is the one that Bruce Grayson calls one of the very best evidence he says for spiritual existence. So the other realm would be experiences where the NDEer meets somebody ... Sometimes they don't know the person, but often times the person is very very close to them. Their dad who died 10 years ago. Their wife who died two years ago. And the person who they're positive they're standing there.
Just like you'd go back to your folk's house and say "That was my dad. I had dinner with my dad tonight." No one's going to question you if you were with your dad. The person is sure with his dad. But the father's been dead for 10 years so he's irreversibly dead. The father, the son returns but dad gives him information that nobody else knows and it comes to pass. And example would be, "I hate to tell you this son, but your cousin just died in Afghanistan. You'll be getting the telegram tomorrow?" or someone says "Dad, what are you doing here? I just saw you last week." "Son, I just had a heart attack across the country and I'm dead too." And they're both having near death experiences. Or somebody tells some other kind of information, but they get it from a person who's irreversibly dead.
A fourth kind is a shared NDE, which are weird. It's where a healthy person witnesses, maybe even goes up the tunnel with, but they're sent back. And the other person stays, but they get to see the tunnel data. And there's one case where there's more than one person who witnesses it. And the last case is NDEs in the blind. That's the one frankly that has probably the less, least evidential cases. But the people who never saw anything their entire life, except for this 20 minute, 10 minute, 30 minutes and they see corroborative things.
So when that's in the presence of measurable ... You always have to say measurable, because people will always say maybe there's brain waves that we can't measure. It's funny how naturalists like the machines until the machines go against them. So now it's measurable, but if it's in the presence of a cardiac arrest ventricular fibulation and with nothing else, the brain dies. And the brain stem follows very quickly, so evidence in those states is highly evidential I would say ... Well, Bruce Grayson says it's the spirit world. I would say continuing consciousness of the person who's having the NDE.
Scott Rae: So just to be clear for our listeners here, what you're referring to is that period ... It could be 5, 10, 20, 30 minutes ... I've heard accounts as much as a few hours-
Gary Habermas: Right. The longer you go, it would be interesting to get the ones that are flat brain, flat heart for hours. But I know a flat brain, flat heart case for 30 minutes.
Scott Rae: We'll take 30 minutes as the max here. But it's what is that first person experience that I'm having if I'm the patient and I've had a heart attack. I could be pronounced dead by all clinical criteria and yet be resuscitated 20 minutes later. It's what I experience as that person in that 20 minute interval that you're describing as the evidence for this new death experience.
Gary Habermas: It's only what you cite is verifiable. You say "Well, only you saw your dad." You go "Yeah, but everybody was at my house yesterday when the telegram came. We found out my cousin was killed in Afghanistan." A recent book on this topic was published a couple of years ago and there's over 100 evidential cases. The only criteria is that you have backup from at least one other person on the pieces of evidence that you're claiming.
Scott Rae: Okay. I admit. Some of this does sound a little bit like the twilight zone.
Gary Habermas: Yeah. It does.
Scott Rae: So tell us a little bit more about how you connect the dots here theologically with what this implies for ... You mentioned briefly just a minute ago about our having conscious existence outside the body ... Like the existence of our soul and the evidence for the afterlife sort of apart from the evidence for the physical Resurrection of Jesus.
Gary Habermas: Right. And those are great questions. Now J. P. Mooreland, your colleague, and I did a book years ago, the final title of it ... It came out with a couple presses was Beyond Death. And we give some of these cases, and J.P. works it into a philosophy of mind thing and we call it in the book ... We call it A Christmas Morning View of Heaven. What we mean by that is, except for the cases where you meet your dad, and he's been dead for 10 years, someone else has been death for 22 years. You grandfather you saw there, except for those cases, most of these are minutes. Let's say less than an hour. So we're not claiming ... Unless you want to claim your father, you got at least 10 years. Grandfather, 20 years, but for most of these, they're initiations to consciousness after death and that alone is really tough on naturalism.
Scott Rae: Spell that out. Why?
Gary Habermas: Naturalism?
Scott Rae: Spell that out. Why is that so? The naturalists is the one that believes that we're nothing more than the physical substance of the world. Chemistry and Physics.
Gary Habermas: [crosstalk] Says very briefly says the natural world is all there is. And so on. Actually, some of the best naturalists, Bertrand Russell, big names who are arguing, Ernest Nagel, who argue for atheism. They'll act like the two biggest planks that they have to destroy are God and the afterlife. So it's big to them. And if you get either God or the afterlife, they're kind of in trouble here. I'm not claiming ... They could say Come on. Your best cases ... And that's not true because you got your father cases ... But your best cases only go for a few minutes. Why couldn't there be a residue in the brain and naturally, you're still right. You're going to die. You're like five minutes away from being finally dead. Well, to me, they're kicking and screaming about that because one minute is rough on them. Five minutes is rough on them. Seems to say something about spiritual existence. Seems to be the beginning. But the people who come back, they are forever changed. In some surveys, none of them fear death. They could care less.
Scott Rae: So what that demonstrates is that there is the possibility of conscious existence.
Gary Habermas: Conscious existence.
Scott Rae: That's not necessarily tied to the body.
Gary Habermas: Correct. And transformation often follows. Now there is an inner debate about among the NDEers. They think the world is so cool. Oh wow, like Plato, like Wow, I get to see that. I get to see this and I get ... They're not looking at themselves, but there is a dispute about some of them will say they have a body and some of them will say they were a spirit, a disembodied spirit. That's not a subtle question.
Scott Rae: Okay.
Gary Habermas: But they're conscious.
Scott Rae: Okay. You already mentioned there's a lot at stake for the atheists in debunking the afterlife. What are some of the most common responses of the atheists to the naturalists to these near death experiences?
Gary Habermas: Sure. Well, they'll say temporal lobe seizure, oxygen deprivation, exaggerating stories, lying, hallucinations, you're dreaming a story when you were two years old. Any of those. But this ... Scott, unlike Resurrection, where a critic can go anywhere and jump in at any point and come up with natural theories. Now think about NDEs, there's a line in the sand. Virtually every single natural response is an inner response. Oxygen deprivation, you're lying, why did you exaggerate that story, you mis-remembered, it's a dream. They're all internal. No internal account can tell you or tell me or tell anybody how you properly repeated something from 30 miles away that happened precisely during the stretch when you had no measurable heart and brain waves.
It's a very rough argument for the atheists to say "Oh, there's nothing to it." You should not be recording things out there. If you lay on the ground for five minutes, you're going to eventually fade away. Maybe the atheists say "Yeah, but you lose neurons and everything else" and they hang on for a while. But not when you're having the time of your life. It's the best thing ... You're not afraid to die anymore, but you're reporting ... If the things I told you ... If I gave you a list, you would say "Oh, my gosh," people see those things. Yeah, they're documented. They're written up in journal articles. Recorded very quickly after the person comes to many times.
Scott Rae: Some people ... And I'm sure you've run into them over the years ... Claim that these experiences actually contradict Biblical teaching.
Gary Habermas: Yeah. This is a great question.
Scott Rae: And should be rejected as maybe even demonic, so what ... Tell us a little bit about that objection. What's ... I mean I don't see ... It's not obvious to me why people wouldn't embrace this readily.
Gary Habermas: First of all, if you just wanted to be a human being, what we gain in the deal is naturalism. I will take a little bit of Biblical consternation and I will work on those things. We have a lot of Biblical consternation on this issue or that issue. But there's a really good comeback and it goes like this. So much so, that I think it renders everything a moot point. And it goes like this.
I've already told you my criteria. My criteria are I'm only going to use ... Or my criterion, is I'm only going to use evidenced cases. Evidenced cases are virtually always ... 90 something percent ... are always this [worldly] things. In the room, a mile away, a block away. They're earthly things. Now you're going to tell me if you're an atheist, you met Jesus and Jesus said "Man, you lived a really good life and we're measuring your good deeds against your last deeds and we'll see you back here in about 20 years." And you come back and you go I was an atheist, but "Man, I'm going to keep doing the things I'm doing because Jesus himself told me I'm okay and I'm going to Heaven."
Or a Muslim, or a Hindu or a Buddhist could say "My religion has been verified because I was told the same thing by [inaudible] [Shiva] or somebody that I'm coming back. There's a real easy comeback. To me that is no more evidential than to have a neighbor of one of ours say "I'm a Hindu. Can I talk to you sometime about Hinduism." Sure. Come on over. [inaudible] They're just giving their testimony. If a person tells me an angel said I can come back in 20 years, even though I'm a Buddhist, I'm going to be able to go to Heaven. That's just their testimony. There's no data for it.
The data cases are this worldly. The testimonies are other worldly. The other worldly cuts both ways. You can't talk about Heaven. Strictly speaking, I can't. You go well, I understand 20% of the cases are hell cases of one sort of another. Well, yeah, they are. Aw I bet that's a bummer for you to lose your hell case because they're not evidence. No, it's not a problem for me at all. I just listen to testimony. You say you got to hell, I'm going to listen to it. You say you're a Hindu and you're allowed in Heaven, I'll listen to your testimony.
But it's only your testimony, there's no data for it. And I could say You're the one who has the dream. You lived in the Bible belt you thought you were going to hell because you didn't follow the Lord or if could be anything that you saw, hallucinated, you exaggerated. I could turn the same theories around on them, because they don't have data. They don't qualify for what I'm looking for. So those are just nothings. They're moot points.
Scott Rae: Okay. Now it's become almost conventional wisdom among naturalists and largely throughout our culture that the Biblical teaching that we've held to for a couple millennia that human beings have souls is sort of a ... It's a nice fiction that neurosciences have rendered sort of obsolete. How do these near death experiences help restore our confidence in the Biblical teaching that we have souls?
Gary Habermas: To me, NDEs would be blood brothers with the [colome] argument which is introduced by Muslims. Intelligent design arguments, fine tuning arguments. You could be a member of any religion and say Amen to these things. I've got an argument for God's existence in my file cabinet. It was written by a Hari Krishna guy with a PhD in physics. He's going cosmo [inaudible] so we stand together against naturalists that these things don't happen.
Scott Rae: By the way, calome [inaudible] argument for our listeners refers to the idea that the universe had a beginning and therefore must have a beginner.
Gary Habermas: Right.
Scott Rae: The fine tuning argument is essentially that the earth is just in exactly the right place. God fine tuned the universe so that human life could flourish on earth in the slightest deviation from that renders human life, renders the earth in a way we wouldn't be here. Those are some of the best apologetic arguments.
Gary Habermas: I have no problem with the Muslim having come up with the Calome. I think that's great. If a Buddhist says "I've had a near death experience and I went to Heaven." I'd go "Oh really." Okay, if he said I go to hell. I'm going to listen to. But yeah, these are general religious things. They don't necessarily say ... They don't say Christianity is true. But they do say that the general religious world view that there's a consciousness. And if the body's dead, but you call it a near death experience, I know, but for 30 minutes, it was so close. If you're still observing data and reporting, that's highly evidential and really without much question support the religious view of the universe or whatever religion and not the naturalistic view of the universe. So this was something naturalists was right to grapple with. And then the different religions can square off and talk about what other data they have to make their claim to Revelation the true one.
Scott Rae: Fair enough. You've spent a lot of years studying these near death experiences. How has this encouraged your spiritual life?
Gary Habermas: Well, I have read some of the zero ... The ones that really zero in like a really high powered medical journal article or ... I have my favorites. That book I was telling you about, edited by Janice Holden. It has 109 cases where you have to have at least one witness. It's like when you study apologetics and you study something you hadn't heard before and you go ... Like a [inaudible] prayer and all of the sudden you're going "Wow, we really are right." It's like you're surprised sometimes. You believe all the data on your side, but when more data come in.
To me, it gives me great comfort and I would say studying NDEs has virtually removed my fear of death. Now, I'm the Resurrection, and that was good, but these are 20th century, your next door neighbor somebody's here while science has discovered. It sort of makes it very comforting that our world view in general, our religious world view is correct and to me that kind of peace and interest in sharing it with others ... I mean I live on a little lake. If I were to catch a big bass ... Last time I caught a big bass, nobody was out in their yards, but I held that thing up and I yelled "Woo," because I didn't care if you liked to fish or not, I wanted you to see what I just did.
Well, it makes me respond like that. It makes me respond like "Whoa, did you guys hear that. Life after death. Yes." It makes me more, maybe it's just kind of getting older, but it makes me more willing, more exuberant to spreading the message and being more than willing to mix it up with anybody who wants to mix it up evidentially.
Scott Rae: So give us your favorite case.
Gary Habermas: Oh wow. The reason I don't have a favorite case is because I have different strokes for different folks. If you like this kind, I like this kind. One of my favorites, there's a lady who was up above her body, she claimed. She looked down and there was a medical apparatus in the room. And you know how hospitals often ... They have to take account with numbers with all the serial numbers and they rivet them into the top of the metal. And she looked down and she said "I'm OCD. And I looked at this number and there was a 12 digit number there. And whenever I see numbers like that, I minimize them. I memorize them."
And when she came to, she said to the nurse, by the way, get a sheet of paper real fast. The number is 12F3476 12 digits. And the nurse shared it with other people there who heard the testimony. They copied the number down. And about a week or two later, some guys in to get the medical thing to take it somewhere else to use it. And the nurse went "Whoa, Whoa, Whoa, Whoa. Hold on. Where's that number? Where's that number?" And they dug the number up and when they tipped the thing to put it on the dolly or whatever it was, they read the number and she got it exactly right.
Now the big thing's more interesting is my teaching or my research assistant, a PhD candidate, with magic fingers in this generation. He emailed her. He got the nurse's email and said "Tell me about this." So I still have in our [inaudible] told me what she said. But yeah. She said I copied that number down and it was exactly the same. Well, somebody seized this. How can you see on top of that thing when it's over your head and you're just in a state ... Well, that's one of my favorites.
One of ... A guy had surgery and he was up above his body. And he was wondering between the rooms of the surgical unit, side by side. He went though the wall he said and he watched a guy having his leg amputated in the next room. And gave details on what those doctors were doing with his leg, while his body is dying on the bed. Of course, they revived him.
Another one and this is one of my favorites. A fellow who had a cardiac arrest. He was out for 30 minutes. People are often drawn to where their family or loved ones are. That's where they visit. And he had left Florida to come up to Milwaukee to have this surgery. And he looked in, quote unquote, on one of his buddies who was house sitting for him while he was coming up for the surgery. And he saw his buddy doing something in the house, which it's not like it illegal or bad or anything, but it was really odd. And he observed the guy. Drew a picture of what the guy was doing. And on his way away from the house, he noticed a magazine on the table that said Denmark on it. And they don't get anything from Denmark. He wondered what this magazine was.
And when he had the surgery, he went back and talked to his friend and he goes "Hey, was this picture like anything you were doing in the house?" The guy went "Oh, my gosh. Where'd you get that?" Because I watched you and he went right on his dining room table and picked up the magazine that was from Denmark. So he was without measurable brain or heart footage.
I mean to me, those are extremely evidential cases and they highly favor a spiritual world view.
Scott Rae: So I think that's the good news out of this. I admit maybe our listeners for whom this is their first exposure to this may be thinking this really does sound like something from the twilight zone.
Gary Habermas: And when people say science always confirms death, well this is the way it works. Ask about NDEs. Because today I was dialoguing with best known naturalist. Anybody who reads Paul Jason knows who this guy is. He's very very well known. And he said to me "Yeah, you want me to believe in Oz when you talk about the Resurrection. You ask me to believe in another world." And I said "Time out." Let's talk about near death experiences and see if there is another world. And the guy literally said to me ... It's taped ... The guy literally said to me "I don't want to talk about near death experiences." He didn't wanted the conversation going there. That says something to me. That's significant.
Scott Rae: So I take it your interest in near death experiences came out of your general interest in the reality of the Resurrection of Jesus.
Gary Habermas: Yes. That's very perceptive. It did. Because Resurrection goes all the way to Heaven. And NDEs say there is a world like middle earth or Narnia or Oz. And we're on the yellow brick road. We're following and we all have to be good stewards and good ministers. That's what it's about.
Scott Rae: So there's ... This I think is really helpful for our listeners because what I'm hearing from this is there's a lot more to our confidence in eternal life than simply the fact that Jesus rose from the dead. Not to discount that. That matters a lot.
Gary Habermas: I would take the Resurrection if I only had to take one event. But when you have backups from other fields like NDEs, it broadens the evidence considerably.
Scott Rae: So as we wrap up this, what would you say for our listeners, what is the most compelling thing to you about the Resurrection of Jesus that convinces you it's true?
Gary Habermas: Well, I'm prejudiced, but when I was doing my doctoral dissertation at Michigan State, I only did it for a few pages because the idea was just starting and I saw it in a few other people so I started developing it. But I'm convinced most of all with an argument that I call the minimal facts argument that takes the lowest common denominator among data so all it requires is a person I'm talking to be a scholar in a relevant field. So philosophy, classics, New Testament, theology, archeology, religion, something that means you know how to judge these data. And if you know the last week of Jesus' life roughly, you're going to concede these facts. Because they're so well attested, in fact I came up with a list recently. How many points of backup do we have for these six facts? What makes these six facts facts?
And there's over 100. That's why people don't argue when they know their stuff. And I would say from that little group of six facts alone, you can show that by far the best explanation that this man, Jesus Christ, was raised from the dead. That gives me great comfort too because the guys I often use when I dialogue, I would almost prefer to use the atheist [new testament] scholars, the agnostics new testament scholars, the new testament scholars who belong to other religions. They're Jewish or Muslim or something else. And they concede the facts too. I think the result of conceding the facts that you're automatically in the corner and you're fighting for your life if you don't want to believe in the Resurrection.
Scott Rae: Okay. So what are those six facts?
Gary Habermas: It depends on what sort of mood I'm in. Sometimes I only use three.
Scott Rae: Give me the three.
Gary Habermas: Sure.
Scott Rae: Give me the most compelling facts.
Gary Habermas: Okay. I'll use six then. Jesus died on the cross. Now that's not Resurrection, but he has to be dead to be alive so. He died on the cross.
The disciples ... And I'm watching my words real carefully ... The disciples had experiences that they believe were appearances of the risen Jesus. Just to say they thought they saw Jesus.
Thirdly, they turned the world upside down. They were transformed. Not just with their beliefs, in general, but the Resurrection in particular over and over again we're told in the New Testament they went out, asked for. They went out and preached the Resurrection. So they were ... I can't prove that they all died as martyrs, but I can say because of the Resurrection testimony, they were all willing to die. So that was a real transformation.
Four, this was proclaimed very very early. Skeptics like Bart Ehrman, Skeptics like Gerd Ludemann called themselves atheists as far as I know. They will allow that this material began to be preached immediately after the crucifixion. Bart Ehrman says one or two years max. In the book of Acts says 50 days, but we know the preaching went on right away. And Bart Ehrman gives a half dozen avenues for you to know it's only one to two years. And the point is there when people say Paul was father of Christianity. Jesus was a real kind [inaudible] Palestinian peasant and all this and Paul ruined it. Well, many of these early [inaudible] in the New Testament are pre-Pauline, which means Paul said Yes to Jesus, this data already existed. Very, very early.
And two skeptics, James the brother of Jesus and Paul, both become believers because they thought they were seeing appearances of the risen Jesus. So that's the basis if you will allow that, you're kind of moving up hill having to deal with some heavy data. And I like Resurrection because I'm like NDEs I said if I took one ... The reason I like Resurrection is Resurrection is capable of going out and building a world view. NDEs we only ... For the most part, we only have minutes. We only have minutes. We don't have a full blown ... We just go "Wow." Religion, we don't have a lot of data. Resurrection gives us a full blown world view. Resurrection yields that.
Scott Rae: Gary, this is great stuff. I hope for our listeners, I hope your faith is encouraged by this, because not only is there great evidence for bodily Resurrection of Jesus, but there's also great evidence for the fact that we can verify something like an afterlife in the here and now today. That's what I think was so valuable about the near death experiences. And Gary, so appreciative that you've given much of your professional life to this area, this really important area to study. There's so much at stake and I think the atheists recognize that this is one, as you mentioned, one of the two central pillars that they have to deal with. It's getting harder and harder to do.
Gary Habermas: Yeah. You can't mess around with God and afterlife.
Scott Rae: Thanks, Thanks so much for being with us.
Gary Habermas: Thanks, Scott. I enjoyed it very much. Thanks for the interview.
Scott Rae: This has been an episode of the podcast Think Biblically: Conversations on Faith and Culture. To learn more about us and about today's guest, Dr. Gary Habermas, and find more episodes, go to Biola.edu/ThinkBiblically. If you enjoyed today's conversation, give us a rating on your podcast app and share it with a friend. Thanks so much for listening and remember Think Biblically about everything.